7 Tips to Survive Initiative 502’s New Marijuana DUI Provisions

Initiative 502 may decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana, but let’s face it, people don’t buy marijuana just to “possess” it.  The point is to ingest the marijuana.  But if you do use it, don’t go anywhere near a car for the next 4 or 5 days.  Because under Initiative-502, you can’t have over 5 nanograms of THC in your blood if your operating a car.  For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of a nanogram, it is one billionth of a gram!  For regular users or medical cannabis patients, you can never legally drive!  Here are few tips from a criminal defense lawyer on how to survive post-Initiative 502.

Should have read tokeofthetown.com before voting for 502

1.  Take Opiates Instead.  If you are a medical marijuana patient, go back to using powerful opiate painkillers.  We understand you gave up methadone, morphine or Oxycontin for medical cannabis because it is safer, cheaper, and it doesn’t leave you feeling like a zombie all the time.  But there is no per se legal limit for driving under the influence of Oxycontin.  None! And the state toxicology lab will also have a hard time proving you are impaired because drugs effect everyone in different ways.  (Disclaimer: This law firm is not legally responsible for overdoses or deaths, or robberies of Walgreens caused by this advice.)

2.  Drive absolutely perfectly.  If you have used marijuana in the last 4 days, don’t give the police any reasonable suspicion to pull you over.  Make sure your tail lights aren’t cracked, make sure your have mud flaps on your car even in July, make sure you license plate illumination bulb is functional, and don’t drive 56 mph in a 55 zone.  Don’t drive 54 mph in a 55 zone either, that is suspicious too.   “Whether you stand still or move, drive above, below, or at the speed limit, you will be described by the police as acting suspiciously should they wish to stop or arrest you.”  U.S. v. Broomfield (2005).

3.  Don’t go to eastern Washington.  It is not the marijuana itself that eastern Washington police hate, its the smug view of the west-side electorate and their voter initiatives that will put them out of work.  For the last ten years in eastern Washington, you were often worse off being caught with marijuana and a green card then with just marijuana by itself.  The police hate I-502 in eastern Washington, and they will be determined to fill their jail cells with new 5 nanogram DUI cases.

4.  Avoid the odor of Marijuana.  The police of Washington State have bionic noses.  Even if you smoked marijuana 10 hours ago, the state patrol can still manage to sniff that on a windy day along side the highway. And don’t even think about hanging a tree air freshener on your mirror.  The police consider that probable cause for arrest.

5. Don’t Toke until you are 21.  At one time in our nation’s history, it was socially acceptable to try marijuana when you were young and in college.  But under I-502 it is considered a marijuana DUI to have any level of THC in your system over 0.00. The FDA allows 30 parts per billion of arsenic in drinking water, and 23 parts per billion of lead in eggs for school lunches.  But if you are under 21 it is a DUI to have any THC in your system at all!   If you are under 21, find another drug!  Heroin, cocaine, MDMA, and huffing gas and aerosol containers all have no per se legal limit!

6. Take the fifth.  When asked by a police officer if you have smoked marijuana in the last 24 hours, take the fifth. Invoking this right was once associated with mafia dons and McCarthyism but it will need to come back in style if drivers are to avoid giving the police probable cause to arrest them for Marijuana DUI.

7.  Get used to an Ignition Interlock.  Under Washington DUI laws, if you refuse a blood test you will need to obtain an ignition interlock device on your car, even if you were arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana.

For the straight scoop on whether marijuana effects driving see here and here.  For more tips on surviving in an absurd society see here and here.



3 Responses to “7 Tips to Survive Initiative 502’s New Marijuana DUI Provisions”

  • When I stated that an adult would have to wait 4 or 5 days to drive, I was being a little hyperbolic. Probably 12 hours is safe to drive.

    • Bob Loblaw:

      “When I stated that an adult would have to wait 4 or 5 days to drive, I was being a little hyperbolic. Probably 12 hours is safe to drive.”

      Are you just making numbers up as you go?

      Everything I’ve read seems to indicate there is no good regression analysis like for alcohol. Rather it is highly individualized depending on usage, quality of product, etc…

      Here is an article discussing the issue: //blogs.seattleweekly.com/dailyweekly/2012/03/the_science_behind_stoned_driv.php

  • If you want to call it that, sure Bob. But there is contrary science too. See //www.canorml.org/healthfacts/drugtestguide/drugtestdetection.html See figure 5, and also //www.nhtsa.gov/People/injury/research/job185drugs/cannabis.htm The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration supports that 12 hour figure.
    But in place of clear authority on this subject, I started advising people to have their own blood tested.

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Steve Graham is a criminal defense lawyer, and he splits his time between Spokane and Seattle, Washington. Visit his website by clicking: www.grahamdefense.com
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